Anna Zumwinkle ’20, a rising senior defender on the Panther women’s ice hockey team, is passionate about medicine and volunteering. The neuroscience and economics major from Excelsior, Minnesota, was a member of teams that won back-to-back NESCAC Championships in Kenyon Arena.
Why did you get involved with Love Your Melon?
Love Your Melon is a Minnesota-based company that sells hats, beanies and other accessories. The proceeds from this for-profit organization are given to pediatric cancer. I, along with one of my teammates, Sidney Portner, both wanted to start a campus crew at Middlebury. With the help of other students, we lead the crew by organizing events on campus to help raise awareness and interfacing with children battling cancer. As it is a relatively new organization on campus, we made cards, baked and decorated cookies for children with cancer last year. We as an organization also participated in Relay for Life on campus.
I am passionate about this cause and giving back to others because I was born with a cleft lip and have had seven surgeries. While going through this process as a child, I made several visits to Children’s Hospital and had an opportunity to see many very sick children. It taught me to be grateful and appreciative of everything that I have been blessed with and the purpose of giving back.
When you have free time, what on-campus activities intrigue you?
Outside of the hockey and golf teams, I am a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), Middlebury Women on Wall Street, Middlebury Consulting Club and Student Investment Club and I am a mentor at Cornwall Elementary School. These give me different experiences and allows me to interact with my friends and classmates. I have learned many important lessons, such as self-advocacy, time management and leadership.
What are you doing this summer?
Outside of training for hockey and golf, I interned at Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, a middle-market investment bank, in their Merchant Banking division. I wanted to see what the business world looked like and I got to experience it first-hand. It was a great opportunity within the finance industry, providing me with a chance to work in a team-oriented environment and to exercise both my analytical and soft skills. I have also coached young girls through Os Hockey, a junior program very close to my home. It was an opportunity for me to give back to the program that taught me how to play hockey.
How did become interested in hockey and golf?
I didn’t start hockey until second grade after watching my younger sister for a year. I tried almost every sport growing up, but hockey was always my favorite. Being born and raised in a state like Minnesota where hockey is well-known and players are very skilled, I was provided with great exposure to it in all aspects of my life. Hockey became a passion of mine from the moment I first learned how to skate. It is big in my family as my sister, Grace, will be a junior at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota where she also plays for the Golden Gophers. After I had two coaches pass away, I realized how incredible the hockey community was and that really crystallized my love for the sport and all the people in it.
I was a little girl and my dad used to try and bribe my sisters and me to come with him to play golf with things like lemonade or a candy bar if we hit different pins at the range. It wasn’t until a few years later that I truly fell in love with golf. In 2008, the Women’s U.S. Open was held in Minnesota and my parents took my sisters and me to go watch. The whole experience was very inspiring to see the caliber of women’s golf and it definitely has remained with me to this day. My family would go golfing together when I was growing up, always making a competition out of it, and those are some of my favorite childhood memories.
I love how the two sports have shaped me into who I am today. The ability to play them with my family and friends has made both hockey and golf such pivotal components of my life and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. I have learned so much about myself through the opportunity to play sports and it has been a dream come true to have the privilege to pursue both hockey and golf at Middlebury.
What is your #MiddMoment?
My #MiddMoments are winning back-to-back NESCAC Championships at home in the Kenyon Arena (2017 and 2018), playing night golf under the stars, and enjoying the vibrant fall colors all over campus, especially on the 11th tee box at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course.
What are your future plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to travel and pursue a career in finance or consulting. Additionally, I'll continue to play hockey and pursue coaching on the side. Further down the road, I would like to attend Business School and earn a master’s degree. I came to Middlebury not knowing if I wanted to pursue some sort of business path or pre-med track. I have always loved working with numbers, so economics was a great fit. It wasn’t until after a few introductory science classes that I realized I really liked the psychology component coupled with science background. I have always loved math and science and to be able to integrate those two fields into an applied fashion has been very rewarding. I would love to pursue finance or consulting with the intersection of health care.
What is something that not a lot of people know about you?
Something not a lot of people know about me is that my faith influences my sports. Before every game or match, I say a prayer for me, my teammates, and my opponents. It helps me relax and engage in a healthy mindset before every competition.
Note - The photo to the upper left shows Anna (top row, left) with her teammates during a Love Your Melon on campus last year. (submitted photo)